It has been a year of unexpected changes. While trying to accustom to these changes and cope with the bigger uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, many people have been raising concerns about their degraded mental health.
Several people have said that their mental health was a lot better a year ago, but Isolation, decreased social interactions, as well as worry regarding financial security and health are among the main factors contributing to their falling mental health. As the emotional hurdles of workers continue to deepen, employers are searching for ways to help their employees’ well-being and remove the negative impact the pandemic might have on the workforce.
Mr. Atul Mahajan says in these exceptionally stressful times, maintaining a happy and healthy workforce is definitely not an easy task for employers. But their efforts may have positive impacts on employee morale and productivity in the coming times. Making wellness programs and benefits to employees’ requirements not only lends businesses a competitive edge in retaining talent but can also contribute to better employee engagement, lower stress, less absenteeism, and better overall health outcomes.
As employers find ways to adapt their wellness offerings in the coming year, here are the trends shared by Mr. Atul Mahajan, Director of Trendsetters Facilities & Technical Services Pvt Ltd India’s top manpower outsourcing and talent resources company is talking about the workplace wellness trends that one can see during 2021.
Holistic Plan Design – In today’s time employers know that happy, healthy employees make for a more productive and engaged workforce, and ultimately good business outcomes. With increased attention on employee well-being, wellness strategies have come to present a broader definition of what “wellness” means. Now bigger than ever, employees turn to their employers to help give solutions not only for their physical well-being but in every aspect of their life. Employee wellness programs can show the interconnections between physical, mental, nutritional, social, financial, and even environmental health. In an attempt to include a broader wellness program into their workforce strategies, plan sponsors and organizations must work with their benefits advisor or provider to create a tailored strategy based on claims data and employee input.
Focusing on Prevention Instead of Treatment – This year it has been found that many people had an increased expense on medicines owing to their physical health. One of the major contributing factors is the increase in the use of medicines for mental health issues. And, this coming year will possibly see another increase. As an employer, this is a matter of concern. To reduce chronic disease rates and restrict impact on healthcare and benefits costs, employers and benefits providers are increasingly looking to provide preventive benefits that enhance workplace wellness, as opposed to focusing simply on treatment. Adopting this preventive method leads to a win-win situation for both employers and employees. While employees benefit from a more holistic wellness program, employers maintain healthier staff by lending tools that help address health matters upstream.
Adopt Technology – Digital health platforms and apps are able towards access to mental health professionals and makes sure issues are being addressed and treated in a timely and efficient manner. Giving advanced digital health tools also mean employers can take a more preventative approach to worker’s mental and physical health. This, as a result, can enhance employee wellness and lead to better health outcomes.
Providing Support Catered to Working Parents– Duringlockdowns and school closures, children popping up on their parents’ zoom meetings has become a part in the last few months. To retain and attract working parents, employers will have to address the growing demand for wellness programs aiming at the challenges faced by employees having children.
As parents look to balance both work and family responsibilities, employers can give options to help them in their home lives. They can think of providing childcare assistance, additional paid leave, flexible job hours, and even provide virtual activities for kids during lockdowns or quarantines.
Keep in Place a Financial Wellness Program – The pandemic has impacted several people financially too. And despite it the financial wellness is mostly ignored in organizations. With the pandemic’s economic consequences already worsening employees’ financial anxiety, employers may consider including benefits such as extended paid leave, giving easily accessible financial planning support, and setting-up education sessions related to financial wellness.
Making Wellness Each Manager’s Concern – Manager’s support is critical in forming a positive work environment and promoting wellness in the organizations. By investing in mental health-related leadership training, employers can assist their managers to understand and address mental health issues in the workforce. Managers are also accountable for creating a welcoming and safe horizon for their teams as well as boosting active participation in well-being practices. They have a role to give information, reach out, and communicate efficiently about wellness offerings and benefit plans. Specifically, in today’s scenario, they have an important role to play in supporting their employees to manage their mental wellness and take control of their well-being.
Cultivating a Resilient Workforce – Resiliency is the ability to overcome hurdles and adapt in the face of adversity. Fostering a resilient workforce is particularly relevant for businesses in today’s time as they face big challenges as a result of the pandemic. Fortunately, resiliency is a skill that can be worked on and developed. To help make a strong and resilient workforce, employers can include resiliency training into benefit plans, aiming on building holistic wellness strategies, and enhance mental health education.